The Art of Strengths Coaching

F is for Fun, Freedom And Fulfilment

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People who do satisfying work often focus on fun, freedom and fulfilment. They aim to pursue these themes, both for themselves and their employers.

People who hate their jobs demonstrate the opposite characteristics. Seeing work as a chore, they feel imprisoned and frustrated.

So let’s explore the following steps in your work.

Fun

Looking back on your life, can you think of a time when you did work that was fun? Certainly there may have been some tough times, but overall you really enjoyed the work.

What made it fun? It may have involved following your vocation, doing things you loved, spending time with positive people or whatever. You may have also been doing work that involved your heart, head and hands.

“I’d like to do work I enjoy, but it is so difficult,” somebody may say. Perhaps, but try doing work you hate. That is more difficult.

What the person may mean is: “I would like to do work I enjoy, but it is hard to find somebody to pay me for doing it.”

Great workers often begin their professional journey by doing work they love. Later they develop the skills – and the savvy – to get funding that will support their lifestyle.

Sometimes people may need to change their work completely. Here is a link to an article that provides tips for how people can get paid for doing satisfying work.

http://www.thepositiveapproach.info/getting-work-by-going-out-and-helping-people-to-succeed/

Let’s assume for the time being, however, that you want to focus on your present work. If you wish, try tackling the following exercise. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the extent to which you have a sense of fun in your work. Rate this on a scale 0 – 10. Bear in mind that anything below 7/10 is a danger signal.

Describe the specific things you can do to maintain or improve the rating.

“After completing this exercise, I decided to go back to my specialism, rather than general management,” said Jenny, a brilliant marketer.

“I feel happy focusing on what I do best. General management was just an endurance test. Now I have much more fun in my work.”

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Freedom

People like to feel free. They want to feel in control of shaping their destiny.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, the Harvard Business School professor and author, says that people want three things from their work. They want a sense of mastery, membership and meaning. You can discover more via the following link.

http://www.inc.com/will-yakowicz/motivate-employees-with-opportunity-for-positive-impact.html

Mastery

They want to grow and become experts in their chosen field. Knowledge workers are prepared to be judged by their results, for example, but they want a sense of mastery regarding how they achieve their agreed goals.

Membership

They want to be part of community with whom they share common values. They also want to be treated as whole human beings – rather than cogs in a wheel – and provided with the support that enables them to flourish.

Meaning

They want to enjoy a sense of meaning. Whilst they can get satisfaction from doing good work, they also want to work for organisations that are contributing to making a positive difference in the world.

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Many fulfilled people seem to have a freelance mentality. They may or may not be freelancers, but they feel in charge of shaping their futures. Jenny, who was mentioned earlier, said:

“I now feel more in control of my professional life. I still work for the same company. But now feel more in control of my diary and contribution to the business.”

If you wish, try tackling the following exercise. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the extent to which you have a sense of freedom in your work. Rate this on a scale 0 – 10.

Describe the specific things you can do to maintain or improve the rating.

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Fulfilment

Looking at your present work, imagine you could be creative and shape it into something fulfilling. Bear in mind, however, that it can take time to craft your perfect role.

As mentioned earlier, there may come a point where you want to move on. Before doing that, however, you may want to explore some of the following themes.

The Fulfilling Parts

What are the fulfilling parts of my work? What are the specific activities, projects and other things I find satisfying? What are my strengths? Where do I deliver As, rather than Bs or Cs?

Who are the kinds of customers and colleagues with who I enjoy working? Who are the ones who give me positive energy? What are the challenges facing these people? What are their needs? How can I use my strengths to help these people to achieve success?

How can I craft a role around my strengths? How can I get my first three customers – internal or external – and help them to succeed? How can I produce tangible benefits – financial or otherwise – that help my employers to achieve success? How can I expand my role into doing more of the things I find fulfilling?

The Frustrating Parts

What are the frustrating parts of my work? What can I do to manage these parts more successfully?

What percentage of my time do I spend on: a) The fulfilling parts; b) The frustrating parts? What percentage do I think is possible: 100/0, 90/10, 80/20, 70/30, 60/40, 50/50 or whatever? What percentage am I prepared to take?

At what point will I make the decision that it is vital for me to focus on the fulfilling aspects of my work? What could be the trigger that gets me to look elsewhere to find another role?

People who do satisfying work often build on their strengths and deliver success. Such opportunities are not always advertised.

People often create such roles by being savvy and showing the tangible benefits. This calls for developing win-wins for both for themselves and their employers. They are then more likely to enjoy a sense of fun, freedom and fulfilment in their work.

If you wish, try tackling the following exercise. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the extent to which you have a sense of fulfilment in your work. Rate this on a scale 0 – 10.

Describe the specific things you can do to maintain or improve the rating.

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